Capturing the attention of more than 34 million in its first 10 days of the Netflix premiere, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness has taken the streaming world by storm and its latest documentary special is sparking some new insight to details! Aside from the tigers, a throuple, a missing man and murder-for-hire, there is a lot more for fans to devour. One of the bigger revelations from TMZ's Fox special Tiger King - What Really Went Down? is the revelation in how Doc Antle and Jeff Lowe are currently under federal investigation.
According to the outlet's sources, the two are currently being investigated by the Department of Agriculture as part of a broader investigation into the illegal sale of endangered species, specifically tigers. The tabloid site's chief, Harvey Levin previously teased how he knew of some subjects from the Netflix docu-series under investigation, but did not reveal their identities until their special aired. Levin goes on to say how Antle and Lowe are "both under the USDA's microscope." The USDA also sent its files over to the Department of Justice, according to TMZ's sources. The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating, as the Department of Justice only became interested after Tiger King was released last month.
"If they are looking now and if they are taking this more seriously, then I suspect it's because there's more attention on these issues now that Tiger King has come out," PETA lawyer Brittany Peet told TMZ. "I think that there's more attention on they're complicity in these acts now that we've seen Joe [Exotic] go to prison for shooting tigers in the head and trapping."
"We found three federal investigations that are ongoing right now, targeting some of the people on that show," Levin told TheWrap in an interview before the special aired. "And they don't even know that they're targets because when I interviewed them they said, 'Look, we're not being looked at.' Well, a couple of them definitely are and we know which agencies are doing it and why they're doing it. And there was a big thing we found out that at least one of the agencies, the United States of Department Agriculture begged one of these agencies to get involved years ago and they just had no interest. And the interest was generated only because of Tiger King."
While Tiger King revealed that Antle's Greatly Endangered and Rare Species in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was raided. However, TMZ said this was linked to an investigation into a zoo in Virginia, where state investigators were tracking down lion cubs who wound up at Antle's zoo. "It was rather insane that they went that far," Antle told TMZ. "We are in no way connected to any wrongdoing, but from the day they came, they said you are not being charged with any crime nor any wrongdoing."
Lowe was a business partner with Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as "Joe Exotic" and the main subject of Netflix's Tiger King. Maldonado-Passage is now in prison, serving a 22-year sentence for hiring a hitman to kill Carole Baskin, his chief rival and the owner of Big Cat Rescue in Florida, and violations of the Endangered Species Act. The series is now available on Netflix, along with a bonus aftershow episode.